Personal // Why I Bought Myself A Diamond Ring + Diamond Buying Tips!

Okay. I want to start this post by saying that this is not a bragging post. I haven't written this so I can boast about what I bought, I have written this to tell you why I bought it and to give you some tips if you wanted to buy one too. So, here goes..

In February, I bought myself a diamond ring. It is a 18ct white gold diamond cluster with half a carat of diamonds total and I am in love with it. I think they were right when they say diamonds are a girls best friend! 

Let's get straight into it and let's talk about the price. It is the elephant in the room, after all. I work in a jewellery shop and like most retail stores, it can have its perks. Working in a jewellery shop is no exception. Staff discount is a glorious thing and whilst this ring has a worth of just over £1,000, I paid a lot less. A lot, lot, less. If I told you how much I paid, you would laugh. I would never put myself into a tight spot financially down to a materialistic item, nor do I really like spending money. Sometimes I do believe spending nearly £4 on a Lush Bath Bomb is a bit of a stretch so buying myself a piece of jewellery, something to wear and treasure for the rest of my life, seems like a good investment and for the small sum I paid for it, a bargain in my eyes. 

I will set you the scene. It is the beginning of February, it is a quiet Sunday afternoon and I was at work. A customer looked at a few cluster diamond rings and decided against them all so when my friend went to put them away, she picked this one up and remarked at how small it was in size. It was tiny. So I naturally decided to force it onto my finger and to my surprise, it fitted like a glove. It is a size I which is incredibly small considering most rings start at a size J. Everyone told me to buy it and I said no. What do I want with a diamond ring? But then I went home and thought about it. And thought about it. Then I went in the next day and bought it and I have not regretted it since. I am a massive sufferer of buyers remorse and I have not felt guilty once since buying this.

Another reason why I bought this ring is because no-one else is going to buy it for me. I don't have a boyfriend. I don't get treated to nice things on Valentine's Day so I thought I will treat myself. Someone once remarked about my ring and asked me how long I had been engaged for. Considering I wear this ring on my right hand and not my left, I said I wasn't engaged and have never been to which they laughed and said "you didn't buy it yourself, surely?" Err, well, yes actually. 

What I am trying to say is... If you want something, buy it. Don't get into debt over a materialistic item but if you can afford it, go for it. It is okay to buy yourself nice things if you want them and work hard for them. 

Some Diamond Buying Tips...
1. If you are buying a ring, you need to choose what you want your band to be made out of. My first question to you would be "white gold, yellow gold or platinum?" 

For those of you who are complete novices when it comes to jewellery, white gold is obviously silver in colour whereas yellow gold is yellow in colour. Platinum looks exactly the same as white gold which can confuse things slightly. If I were to confuse you further, I would tell you that you cannot get a bar of white gold. White gold is simply yellow gold coated in an alloy called palladium which gives off the white colour. Just like you cannot physically get a bar of rose gold. Rose gold is simply yellow gold (ie gold, gold) coated in copper. Now, whilst platinum may look the same as white gold, they are completely different. Platinum is harder-wearing than gold is, meaning it will not scratch as easily as white gold will. This is why platinum is more expensive than gold.

2. My next question would be "9 carat gold or 18 carat gold?"
Other shops/countries offer different carats of gold but 9 carat or 18 carat seem to be the norm here in the UK. Before I start I will say that carat is reffered to how much gold content/quantity is in a piece of jewellery. If someone were to ask for my opinion then I would always suggest platinum purely because it is stronger and harder-wearing than gold but I know it is more expensive so it is not always in the budget of some. This is when I would suggest 9 carat gold rather than 18 carat. I think people are under the assumption that 18 carat is better than 9 carat but this is untrue. Gold is a soft material therefore it is prone to scratches. So if you think about it in that way, as there is more gold content in 18 carat gold, it is more likely to scratch than 9 carat gold would do.

3. Rhodium plating?
White gold is plated with a metallic element called rhodium which makes the white gold appear bright, shiny and new. If you have a white gold ring then after a bit of wear and tear, the rhodium will start to wear off and the colour might start to dull down. This is when your ring should be rhodium plated. This means your ring is buffed and polished to within an inch of its life and a new layer of rhodium covers the ring to make it look shiny and new. It can hide the general wear and tear that a ring will come across in everyday life and it doesn't cost too much either. Less than a new ring, anyway.

4. Diamonds? Carats? Points? ARGH!
A carat indicates the weight of a diamond and to put it simply, the bigger the better. The bigger the diamond, the higher the price. I would say that every woman deserves at least half a carat of diamonds. That said, always buy the best you can afford. But there is more to a diamond than the weight but we will talk about that later. To confuse everyone even further, not only are diamonds reffered to in carats but also in points (pts). There are 100 points in a carat so 50 points = half a carat, 33 points = one third of a carat and so on.

5. What does it mean when it says 1 carat total? 
I get asked this quite a lot and you only ever get a total measurement of carat when the ring has more than one diamond. For example, my ring. My ring is made up with lots of different diamonds and each diamond has a different weight to it so the entire total of each diamond makes up the 1 carat.

6. Solitaire? Cluster? Eternity? Half Eternity? Full Eternity? 
All of the above are different styles of ring. A solitaire is the classic engagement ring. One diamond in the centre of the ring, Classic, simple, beautiful. You can also get a solitaire with diamonds along the shoulders which is just as beautiful.
A cluster ring is a ring with lots of little diamonds. You can get a cluster in so many different designs and styles.
Eternity rings are to signify never-ending love and are now the popular choice instead of a plain wedding band. Eternity rings are like a wedding band but with diamonds. Half eternity is where the ring is half covered in diamonds and a full eternity is covered in diamonds all the way round.

7. Clarity? Cut? Colour?
If you are buying a diamond, you might be asked about the clarity, cut and colour, as well as the carat. These make up for the 4 C's of diamonds and are very important when it comes to making your decision. Diamonds are simply carbon which has met incredible heat. Within a diamond you might get an internal inclusion which is where you can visibly see something within the diamond that shouldn't necessarily be there. This is where the clarity comes in. The clarity grade is simply a scale of how flawless the diamond is. Ideally, you don't really want a diamond that is very included, you want a diamond as flawless as possible but again, you pay more for a flawless, perfect diamond. The clarity scale looks like this - flawless, internally flawless, very very slightly included, very slightly included, slightly included and included. Most of the time you can't see anything within the diamond unless looking through a jewellers loop.

Cut - The cut of the diamond. A jeweller will cut a diamond to show off it's beauty and to get the best value out of it. There are many diamond cuts but round, emerald, pear, princess and heart cuts are popular.

Colour - Another diamond grading system starting from D which is the best you can buy, straight through to Z. D is flawless, perfect, wonderful, colourless. Z is visibly yellow and whilst some may like a yellow diamond and try and pass it off as a "champagne diamond", the whiter the better with most people. 

When buying a diamond you should really put the cut, clarity, colour and carat into consideration. If it were a choice between a half carat diamond which is D in colour and flawless in clarity or a 1 carat diamond which is Z in colour and slightly included in clarity, I would take the first ring as it is a better diamond. There is lots to take into consideration and it is definitely worth thinking about. Most diamond rings come with a certificate which tell you all about the above so you know all about the diamond you are buying but beware that some diamond rings don't come with certificates. For a diamond ring to have a certificate, it means that it has been sent off and evaluated by a professional. If your diamond ring doesn't have a certificate, it does not mean it is a fake ring. It just means that it might not have enough weight to it to classify a certificate.

8. I already have an 18 carat gold engagement ring, can I have a 9 carat gold wedding ring?
Yes, you can but they will scratch against each other. It is always best to stick to the same carat of gold as your engagement ring.

Other useful tips..
1. Know your size! The amount of times I have had a man come in and tell me his girlfriend has a finger size of an O when in fact she is actually a size J. If you are a man and want to buy a ring to propose with, sneakily take one of his/her rings and bring it in with you so we can measure the size. It is better to know for definite then to guess and be way off the mark. If you are a lady and want to know your size just walk into a jewellery shop and they will measure you. I think a few stores charge for this so be careful.

2. If the shop you are buying from offers cover, take it. This can cover you from accidental damage, loss or theft. It can be quite cheap and it is better to be safe than sorry.

3. Make sure you get an evaluation for insurance purposes, just in case.

I hope this little tiny guide has been useful for some. Like I said before, buy the best you can afford and don't get into debt over a materialistic item. Think ahead when it comes to buying an expensive item of jewellery and know what you want or what you are looking for. I think it is also worth mentioning that I am not an expert. To put it simply, I am a sales assistant. Before I worked here, I knew nothing about jewellery. Nothing at all. But if you do have any questions or comments then leave them below!

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41 comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I love this post! Your ring is absolutely gorgeous. I always treat myself to nice jewellery even though I have a boyfriend - my weakness is emeralds and I collect emerald rings. Normally for birthdays/christmas I ask for jewellery or if there's been a significant thing that has happened in my life, I treat myself so each item has a memory or story attached to it. I loved all your in depth information about bands, carats etc. In bands i always assumed the higher the carat, the better it would be, less prone to scratches etc. Sorry for the big comment but I really enjoyed reading this :)

    www.typicalamy.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment, Amy! I love emerald rings too - they are at the top of my list to purchase next! x

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  3. That ring is absolutely gorgeous!
    www.missamyguest.blogspot.co.uk
    x

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  4. Such a beautiful ring, what a great holiday treat :)

    http://liz-breygel.blogspot.com

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  5. Such a good helpful post and you broke it down fantastically! I would be so flustered if somebody asked me any of these questions, so it's good that you've broken all it down into bit size pieces of info! I'm like you and not about to be treated by any body other than myself ha! But you've picked such a beautiful ring, something you can have for a life time :)


    Charlie from Lotties Thoughts
    xxx

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  6. Your engagement ring looks very elegant and sophisticated. Its simplicity really catches my attention, for some reason. Anyway, I’m glad you were happy with that. I can’t see any reason to be frustrated by having such a wonderful ring. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations to you. Melbourne Engagement Rings

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  7. Well done Louise! Love it that you treated yourself with a diamond ring. I know that many wouldn't have the courage to do so. Your ring is not only gorgeous but will always have a value besides the obvious sentimental one. Maybe one day you will be able to pass it on to a loved one and it will still be a valuable and beautiful gift.

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  8. I like to wear white shade diamond but it’s price is too expensive

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  9. You made some decent points there. I wanted to thanks for your time for this splendid read!! Check out more info about diamond engagement rings and let me know what you feel. Engagement rings Melbourne

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  10. A diamond guide will also explain what diamond certificates are, and when you should get one. A good guide will also cover the difference between the cut and the shape of a diamond - commonly thought to be the same thing - and what is best for the type of setting that you are considering,
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